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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jul;153(1):18-21.

Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and melanoma tumorigenesis: an insight.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Assiut University Hospitals, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.


The presence of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) amid the tumour cells in the stroma and overlying epidermis is a constant feature of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. These lymphocytes are mostly cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) that can be propagated in vitro by specific cytokines. Also, they can kill melanoma cells. This specific killing can be abrogated by monoclonal antibodies against CD3, CD8, T-cell receptors (TCRs) and against class I human leucocyte antigens (HLAs). This indicates that these CTLs can recognize the melanoma cells through the TCRs, in an HLA class I-restricted manner. Therefore, these cells and their products both are critical players in T cell-induced melanoma regression and are powerful predictors of survival. This review seeks to examine the characteristics, activation and role of TILs and their associated molecules in melanomas.

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